IOWA 6 Electoral Votes 
link to clickable map
Population 
(Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Iowa Secretary of State)
Total Resident Population, July 1, 2019 est.
3,155,070

Total Registration, Nov. 3, 2020 (active) 2,094,770   
Nov. 2 Dem. 699,001 (33.36%)   Rep. 719,591 (34.34%)  No Party 659,487 (31.47%)   Other 17,501 (0.84%)  2,095,580 >

Iowa has: 99 counties, 949 cities.

Six largest counties (100,000-plus): Polk, Linn, Scott, Johnson, Black Hawk, Woodbury.
Six largest cities: Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Sioux City, Iowa City, Waterloo.

Government
Governor: Kim Reynolds (R) elected 2018. 
State Legislature: General Assembly  House: 100 seats  Senate: 50 seats
Local: Cities and Counties    NACO
U.S. House: 3D, 1R - 1. A.Finkenauer (D) | 2. D.Loebsack (D) | 3. C.Axne (D) | 4. S.King (R). >
U.S. Senate: Joni Ernst (R) seeking re-election in 2020, Chuck Grassley (R) re-elected in 2016.
2020
U.S. Senate: Sen. Joni Ernst (R), seeking a second term, defeated real estate executive Theresa Greenfield (D) by 864,997 votes (51.74%) to 754,859 (45.15%), 36,961 votes (2.21%) for Rick Stewart (L), a retired small businessperson, 13,800 (0.83%) for Suzanne Herzog (I), an economist and former ER nurse, and 1,211 write-ins.  According to the Center for Responsive Politics this race, with total spending of $261.6 million, was the third most expensive ever at the time (>).  Democrats targeted Ernst as they sought to regain a majority in the Senate; the DSCC endorsed Greenfield early in the primary, in June 2019. 
U.S. House:
There were two open seats, CD-2 and CD-4.  Republicans achieved picks up in CD-1 (Hinson) and, pending a contest, CD-2 (Miller-Meeks), taking the balance from 3D,1R to 3R,1D:
 - In CD-1 (northeastern Iowa)
  State Rep. Ashley Hinson (R) defeated first-term U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D) by 212,088 votes (51.25%) to 201,347 (48.65%).  In July 2020 the Washington Post deemed Finkenauer the seventh most vulnerable House Member.
 - In CD-2 (southeastern Iowa)  U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack (D), first elected in 2006, is retiring.  State Sen. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R), an opthamologist who challenged Loebsack in 2008, 2010 and 2014, defeated former state Sen. Rita Hart (D), a farmer and the 2018 nominee for lieutenant governor, by six votes, 196,964 to 196,958.  This was the closest U.S. House race in 2020 and the outcome could still be reversed; on Dec. 22 Hart filed a petition with Congress claiming 22 ballots were wrongfully excluded (>).  Also interesting to note, there were 19,189 under votes in this contest.  
- CD-3 (southwest quadrant from Des Moines to Omaha)   First-term U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne (D) defeated former U.S. Rep. David Young (R) in a re-match by 219,205 votes (48.94%) to 212,997 (47.55%) and 15,361 (3.43%) for Bryan Jack Holder (L).
 - CD-4 (northwestern quadrant)  U.S. Rep. Steve King (R), first elected in 2002, lost the June 2 primary to state Sen. Randy Feenstra (R); Feenstra defeated J.D. Scholten (D), who was the Democratic nominee against King in 2018, by 237,369 votes (61.97%) to 144,761 (37.79%).
State Legislature: 
25 of 50 Senate seats and all 100 House seats were up.  The Senate stayed at 32R,18D and the House from 53R,47D to 59R,41D.

 State of Iowa
Secretary of State

Republican Party of IA
IA Democratic Party

Libertarian Party of IA
IA Green Party
Constitution Party of IA

Des Moines Register
Media (Newsp.), 2
TV, Radio

Iowa Starting Line
Bleeding Heartland
Caffeinated Thoughts

Iowa Field Report


Politics1-IA
Ballotpedia-IA


The Hawkeye State
General Election -- Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Oct. 5, 2020 - First day absentee ballots may be voted in the county auditorís office.


Under a directive signed by Secretary of State Paul Pate, every active registered voter will receive an absentee ballot request form (+). 

As in many other states, there was pre-election litigation over some details of absentee voting (+).



Election Day Voters: 698,557 (41.1%).
Absentee Voters: 1,001,573 (58.9%).

Official Results >

 
Trump/Pence (Rep.)
897,672
(53.09)
Biden/Harris(Dem.)
759,061
(44.09)
De La Fuente/Richardson (All.)
1,082
(0.06)
Blankenship/Mohr (Const.)
1,707
(0.10)
King/Chandler (GKH)
546
(0.03)
Hawkins/Walker (Grn.)
3,075
(0.18)
Jorgensen/Cohen (Lib.)
19,637
(1.16)
Pierce/Ballard
544
(0.03)
West/Tidball
3,210
(0.19)
Write In
4,337
(0.26)
Total........1,690,871

Also there were 6,614 under votes and 2,645 over votes for a total of 1,700,130.

Ballot Access
For non-party political organizations (NPPO) candidates and candidates nominated by petition 1,500 signatures needed; must run as team; must collect signatures from at least 10 counties. [ß45.1(1)]  Filing period was July 27-Aug. 14, 2020. [ß44.4(1)(b)] (+)


Overview: Iowa was seen as a possible swing state but proved to be relatively non-competitive. 
    Biden did not do well in the Feb. 3 Democratic caucuses, finishing fourth,.  Democrats pointed to high turnout in the June primary as grounds for optimism.  However, Republican achieved steady gains in voter registration in the lead up to Nov. 3.  Biden did not return to the state except for one visit in late October.  In addition to visits and activity on the ground, both sides did a fair bit of advertising. 
   There were several other factors of note.  On Aug 5 Gov. Reynolds signed Executive Order 7, restoring voting rights for felons who have served their sentences (+).  In addition to the effects of the pandemic, a derecho hit central and east central Iowa on Aug. 10, causing an estimated $4 billion in damage (>).  
   On Nov. 3 Trump won by a plurality of 138,611 votes (9.00 percentage points), just slightly of from his  9.41 percentage point margin in 2016,  As in 2016 Trump carried 93 counties; Biden carried the same six urban counties as Clinton (Polk, Story, Linn, Johnson, Scott and Black Hawk).  All in all it was a good year for Republicans as they held on to a targeted U.S. Senate seat, flipped one or two U.S. House seats and picked up six State House seats.

Trump Biden  ||
  visits  ||  advertising  ||  D, allies | R
[IASOSBALLOT [PDF]
[State Primary: June 2, 2020]  
Iowa Caucuses -- Monday, February 3, 2020
Main Iowa Caucuses Page

Democrats
Popular vote (delegate %): Buttigieg 43,209 (26.2%), Sanders 45,652 (26.1%), Warren 34,909 (18.0%, Biden 23,605 (15.8%), Klobuchar 21,100 (12.3%))...   details

49 Delegates: 27 District, 9 At-Large, 5 PLEO, 8 Unpledged.

Republicans
Trump 31,464 (97.1%), Others 499 (1.5%), Weld 426 (1.3%).

General Election Winners in Iowa, 1992-2016
1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016
Clinton
43.28%
Clinton
50.26%
Gore
48.54%
Bush
49.90%
Obama
53.93%
Obama
51.99%
Trump
51.15%
  and the details...

Voting Eligible Population*: 2,290,215.
VEP Highest Office Turnout Rate: 68.4%.


Voter Pre-Registration Deadline
:  Oct. 29, 2016.  By mail, must be postmarked Oct. 24.  Iowa does have Election Day Registration >

Early Voting: First day absentee ballots may be voted in county auditorís offices is Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016.  Continues through Monday, Nov. 7, 2016.

SOS



Trump
Clinton
Johnson
Election Day
530,083
321,705
41,139
Absentee
270,900
331,964
18,047
Total
800,983
653,669
59,186

Official Results >

 
+Trump/Pence (Rep.)
800,983
(51.15)
Clinton/Kaine (Dem.)
653,669
(41.74)
Castle/Bradley (Const.)
5,335
(0.34)
Stein/Baraka (Grn.)
11,479
(0.73)
Vacek/Elworth (Marij.)
2,246
(0.14)
Johnson/Weld (Lib.)
59,186
(3.78)
Kahn/Stolba (NewInd.)
2,247
(0.14)
LaRiva/Banks (PSL)
323
-
De La Fuente/Steinberg (Pet.)
451
-
McMullin/Johnson (Pet.)
12,366
(0.79)
Write-In
17,746
(1.13)
Total........1,566,031

Also there were 12,914 under votes and 2,426 over votes for a total of 1,581,371.


Overview: Iowa was again a contested state, but the campaign was not closely fought as in some of the other battleground states.  Trump and Pence spent considerably more time in the state than did Clinton and Kaine.  When the votes were tallied Trump won with a plurality of 147,314 votes (9.41 percentage points), carrying 93 of 99 counties.  The six counties Clinton carried were all large urban counties (Polk, Linn Scott, Johnson, Black Hawk and Story).  Statewide Clinton won in early voting, but as in Florida, another battleground state, Trump "crushed it" on Election Day (+).  As in 2012 Iowa had the sixth highest turnout as a percentage of voting eligilble population (after MN, NH, ME, CO and WI). 
General Election Details
Clinton  | 
Trump
BALLOT [PDF]
 
General Election -- Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Voting Eligible Population*: 2,263,375.
VEP Highest Office Turnout Rate: 69.9%.


Voter Registration Deadline
: Pre-registering in person October 23, 2012.  By mail, must be received by October 27 or postmarked October 22.

Early Voting: First day to vote in person in auditorís office is Thursday, September 27, 2012.  Continues through November 5.

741,771 absentee ballots were requested. 689,661 absentee ballots were received:
Democratic
Republican
No Party
Other

219,576
287,935
181,260
890
Official Results >

 
Romney/Ryan (Rep.) 730,617
(46.18)
+Obama/Biden (Dem.)
822,544
(51.99)
Goode/Clymer (Const.)
3,038
(0.19)
Stein/Honkala (Grn.)
3,769
(0.24)
Johnson/Gray (Lib.)
12,926
(0.82)
LaRiva/Beacham (PSL)
372
(0.02)
Harris/Kennedy (SWP)
445
( 0.03)
Litzel/Litzel
1,027
(0.06)
Write-Ins
7,442
(0.47)
Total........1,582,180

2012 Overview
Iowa was one of the battleground states.  In the Nov. 2008 general election, Democrats had a registration edge of more than five percentage points; this time the margin was much narrower.  After healthy investments of resources by both of the major campaigns, Obama won with a reduced plurality of 91,927 votes (5.81 percentage points), carrying 38 counties to 61 for Romney.  Iowa had the sixth highest turnout as a percentage of voting eligilble population (after MN, WI, NH, CO and ME). 
General Election Details
Obama  | 
Romney
BALLOT [PDF]

General Election -- Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Voting Eligible Population*: 2,199,849.
VEP Highest Office Turnout Rate: 69.9%.
...turnout rate fifth highest in the nation.


Total Registration: 2,003,901.
Rep. 592,397 (29.56%)   Dem. 698,839  (34.87%)   No-Party 711,705 (35.52%)  Other 960.

According to the Secretary of State, "Iowa has one of the top registration rates in the nation with 92-percent of voting-eligible Iowans registered to vote."

According to the Secretary of State, county auditors received 557,000 absentee ballots.
Official Results >


+Obama/Biden (Dem.)
828,940
(53.93)
McCain/Palin (Rep.)
682,379
(44.39)
Baldwin/Castle (Const.) 4,445
(0.29)
McKinney/Clemente (Grn.) 1,423
(0.09)
Barr/Root (Lib.) 4,590
(0.30)
Nader/Gonazalez (P&F) 8,014
(0.52)
Harris/Kennedy (SWP)
292

La Riva/Moses (PSL)
121

Moore/Alexander (Soc.)
182

Write-Ins
6,737
(0.44)
Total........1,537,123

Over votes: 2,338
Under votes: 4,504

...Total turnout: 1,546,453  
2008 Overview
In contrast to the very close races in 2004 and 2008, Obama won Iowa fairly comfortably, gaining a plurality of 146,561 votes (9.54 percentage points).  Obama-Biden carried 53 counties to 46 for McCain-Palin.

Turnout of 1.54 million surpassed the 2004 record of 1.52 million.
General Election Details
Obama/Allies  |  McCain/Allies  |  Nader

General Election -- Tuesday, November 2, 2004
Voting Eligible Population*: 2,156,389.
VEP Highest Office Turnout Rate: 69.9%.

Registration: Rep. 609,046 (30.89%)   Dem. 601,388 (30.50%)   No-Party 761,301 (38.61%)... Total 1,971,735.
 

Early voting begins and absentee ballots mailed starting: September 23, 2004.

Voter registration deadline: October 23, 2004  
Official Results


Kerry/Edwards (Dem.)
741,898
(49.23)
+Bush/Cheney (Rep.)
751,957
(49.90)
Peroutka/Baldwin (Const.) 1,304 (0.09)
Cobb/LaMarche (IAGrn.) 1,141
(0.08)
Badnarik/Campagna (Lib.)
2,992
(0.20)
Harris/Trowe (SWP)
373
(0.02)
Nader/Camejo (Petition)
5,973
(0.40)
Van Auken/Lawrence (Petition)
176
(0.01)
Write-Ins
1,904
(0.13)
Total........1,506,908
 

2004 Overview
Iowans saw much of Sen. Kerry during the caucuses campaign.  Kerry later gave close consideration to Gov. Tom Vilsack as a potential running mate.  In the closing weeks of the campaign the candidates and surrogates made frequent visits.  When the votes were counted, Iowa had flipped Republican; Bush-Cheney narrowly won with a plurality of 10,059 votes (0.67 percentage points).  Bush carried 67 counties to Kerry's 32.  191,345 more votes were cast in the presidential race than in 2000.
General Election Details  |  Photos
Kerry/Allies  |  Bush-Cheney '04

General Election -- Tuesday, November 7, 2000

Voting Eligible Population*: 2,082,950.
VEP Highest Office Turnout Rate: 63.2%.


Registration: Rep. 590,209 (32.05%)   Dem. 565,561 (30.71%)   No-Party 685,576 (37.23%)... Total 1,841,346.


Official Results


+Gore/Lieberman (Dem.)
638,517
 (48.54)
Bush/Cheney (Rep.)
634,373
(48.22)
Browne/Olivier (Lib.)
3,209
(0.24)
Nader/LaDuke (Grn.)
29,374
(2.23)
Buchanan/Foster (Ref.)
5,731
(0.44)
Harris/Trowe (SWP)
190
 (0.01)
Phillips/Frazier (Const.)
  613
(0.05)
McReynolds/Hollis (Soc.)
107
(0.01)
Hagelin/Goldhaber (pet.)
2,281
(0.17)
Scattering
1,168
(0.09)
Total........1,315,563

2000 Overview
The Gore-Lieberman ticket eked out a narrow win, finishing with a plurality of just 4,144 votes (0.32 percentage points).  Bush carried 68 counties to Gore's 31.  Typically in Iowa Democratic candidates do well East of I-35, the main North-South highway, and Republicans do well in the West.  This held true in 2000 as Bush swept all counties in the Western-most quarter of the state, while Gore did well in counties along the Mississippi River in the East, as well as in the Des Moines-Fort Dodge and Mason City areas. 
General Election Activity

1992 and 1996 General Elections
Archive Pages: 2016 | 2012 | 2008 | 2004 | 2000 1992
Clinton (Dem.)........586,353
(43.28)
Bush (Rep.)...........504,891
(37.27)
Perot (Ind.) ...........253,468
(18.71)
Others(11+w/ins).......9,895
(0.73) 
Total........1,354,607

1996
Clinton (Dem.).......620,258
(50.26)
Dole (Rep.)............492,644
(39.92)
Perot (Ref.)............105,159
(8.52)
Others (5+w/ins).....16,014
(1.30)
Total........1,234,075